by Tom Fitton –
The true nature of the Clinton Foundation becomes ever clearer with each discovery of withheld emails.
This week we released 725 pages of State Department documents that include email exchanges in which Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin provided influential Clinton Foundation donors special, expedited access to the secretary of state.
In one flagrant example, the Crown Prince of Bahrain was forced to go through the Clinton Foundation to get access to the secretary of state. He got it after pledging $32 million to the Clinton Global Initiative.
The new documents included 20 Hillary Clinton email exchanges not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to 191 of new Clinton emails (not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department). These records further appear to contradict statements by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department.
The Abedin emails reveal that she apparently served as a conduit between Clinton Foundation donors and Hillary Clinton while Clinton served as secretary of state. In more than a dozen email exchanges, Abedin provided expedited, direct access to Clinton for donors who had contributed from $25,000 to $10 million. In many instances, Clinton Foundation top executive Doug Band, who worked with the Foundation throughout Hillary Clinton’s tenure at State, coordinated closely with Abedin. In Abedin’s June deposition to Judicial Watch, she conceded that part of her job at the State Department was taking care of “Clinton family matters. ”
Among the Abedin-Band emails is an exchange revealing that when Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain requested a meeting with Clinton, he was forced to go through the Clinton Foundation for an appointment. Abedin advised Band that when she went through “normal channels” at State, Clinton declined to meet. After Band intervened, however, the meeting was set up within forty-eight hours.
According to the Clinton Foundation website, in 2005, Salman committed to establishing the Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Program (CPISP) for the Clinton Global Initiative. And by 2010, it had contributed $32 million to CGI. The Kingdom of Bahrain reportedly gave between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. And Bahrain Petroleum also gave an additional $25,000 to $50,000.
From: Doug Band
To: Huma Abedin
Sent: Tue Jun 23 1:29:42 2009
Cp of Bahrain in tomorrow to Friday
Asking to see her
Good friend of ours
From: Huma Abedin
To: Doug Band
Sent: Tue Jun 23 4:12:46 2009
He asked to see hrc thurs and fri thru normal channels. I asked and she said she doesn’t want to commit to anything for thurs or fri until she knows how she will feel. Also she says that she may want to go to ny and doesn’t want to be committed to stuff in ny…
From: Huma Abedin [Huma@clintonemail.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 10:35:15 AM
To: Doug Band
Offering Bahrain cp 10 tomorrow for meeting woith [sic] hrc
If u see him, let him know
We have reached out thru official channels
Also included among the Abedin-Band emails is an exchange in which Band urged Abedin to get the Clinton State Department to intervene in order to obtain a visa for members of the Wolverhampton (UK) Football Club, one of whose members was apparently having difficulty because of a “criminal charge.” Band was acting at the behest of Casey Wasserman, a millionaire Hollywood sports entertainment executive and President of the Wasserman Foundation. Wasserman has donated between $5 million and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation through the Wasserman Foundation.
The Abedin emails also reveal that Slimfast tycoon S. Daniel Abraham was granted almost immediate access to then-Secretary of State Clinton, with Abedin serving as the facilitator. According to the Clinton Foundation website, Abraham, like the Wasserman Foundation, has given between $5 million and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. The emails indicate that Abraham was granted almost immediate access to Clinton upon request.
Additional Abedin emails in which the top Clinton aide intervenes with the State Department on behalf of Clinton Foundation donors include the following:
• On Friday, June 26, 2009, Clinton confidant Kevin O’Keefe wrote to Clinton saying that “Kevin Conlon is trying to set up a meeting with you and a major client.” Clinton wrote to Abedin, “Can you help deliver these for Kevin?” Abedin responded, “I’ll look into it asap” Kevin O’Keefe donated between $10,000 and $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Kevin Conlon is a Clinton presidential campaign “Hillblazer” who has raised more than $100,000 for the candidate.
• On Tuesday, June 16, 2009, Ben Ringel wrote to Abedin, “I’m on shuttle w Avigdor Liberman. I called u back yesterday. I want to stop by to see hrc tonite for 10 mins.” Ringel donated between $10,000 and $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
• On Monday, July 6, 2009, Maureen White wrote to Abedin, “I am going to be in DC on Thursday. Would she have any time to spare?” Abedin responded, “Yes I’ll make it work.” White donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
• In June 2009, prominent St. Louis political power broker Joyce Aboussie exchanged a series of insistent emails with Abedin concerning Aboussie’s efforts to set up a meeting between Clinton and Peabody Energy VP Cartan Sumner.
Aboussie wrote, “Huma, I need your help now to intervene please. We need this meeting with Secretary Clinton, who has been there now for nearly six months. This is, by the way, my first request. I really would appreciate your help on this. It should go without saying that the Peabody folks came to Dick [Gephardt] and I because of our relationship with the Clinton’s.” After further notes from Aboussie, Abedin responded, “We are working on it and I hope we can make something work… we have to work through the beauracracy [sic] here.” Aboussie donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
• On Saturday, May 16, 2009, mobile communications executive and political activist Jill Iscol wrote to Clinton, “Please advise to whom I should forward Jacqueline Novogratz’s request [for a meeting with the secretary of state]. I know you know her, but honestly, she is so far ahead of the curve and brilliant I believe she could be enormously helpful to your work.” Clinton subsequently sent an email to Abedin saying, “Pls print.” Jill and husband Ken Iscol donated between $500,000 and $1 million to the Clinton Foundation. Clinton subsequently appointed Novogratz to the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board.
The newly obtained Abedin emails also contain a memorandum sent to Cheryl Mills from State Department White House liaison Laura Pena revealing that Rajiv Fernando was proposed for his controversial appointment to the sensitive International Security Advisory Board as early as June 2009. Fernando was not actually appointed until 2011, and his appointment raised a firestorm because, according to an ABC News report, “he had no obvious experience in the field.”
Fernando donated $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.
The Abedin emails reveal that even U2’s Bono got into the act when former Bill Clinton aide Ben Schwerin, who helped set up the Clinton Foundation, urged Abedin to help the aging rock star broadcast from the international space station. In a May 27, 2009, email with the subject line “Bono/NASA,” Schwerin wrote, “Bono wants to do linkup with the international space station on every show during the tour this year.… Any ideas? Thks.” Bono has been a donor to the Clinton Global Initiative. And in 2011, he gathered top entertainers for “A Decade of Difference: A Concert Celebrating 10 Years of the William J. Clinton Foundation.” According to USA Today, “Some tickets were sold to the public for $50 to $550, and premium seats went for $1,000 to $5,000 on the Foundation website.”
This is the tenth set of records produced for Judicial Watch by the State Department from the non-state.gov email accounts of Huma Abedin. The documents were produced under a court order in a May 5, 2015, Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit against the State Department (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)) requiring the agency to produce “all emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from January 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013, using a ‘non-state’.gov email address.”
Hillary Clinton has repeatedly stated that she believes that the 55,000 pages of documents she turned over to the State Department in December 2014 included all of her work-related emails. In response to a court order in other Judicial Watch litigation, she declared under penalty of perjury that she had “directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or are potentially federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.” This new email find is also at odds with her official campaign statement suggesting all “work or potentially work-related emails” were provided to the State Department.
In these emails we are seeing the most blatant abuse ever of a cabinet office. Hillary Clinton turned the State Department into a global revenue stream that enriched her private interests with millions of ill-gotten dollars. The scope of this pay-for-play corruption is simply staggering.
The release of this material caused another national firestorm, with lead stories in the Washington Post, New York Times, and widespread television news coverage. Liberals and conservatives have called for special prosecutors and for the Clinton Foundation to be shut down. Yet, incredibly, JW made even more news than this on the Clinton email story this past week.
Federal Court Orders Hillary Clinton to Answer Email Questions under Oath
Unlike Hillary Clinton and her allies in the Obama administration, federal courts tend to take the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) quite seriously.
Late last Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s granted us permission to submit interrogatories to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and to depose the former Director of Information Resource Management of the Executive Secretariat (“S/ES-IRM”) John Bentel.
The court order reads:
[T] the State Department shall release all remaining documents responsive to Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act request by no later than September 30, 2016; and it is FURTHER ORDERED that, consistent with Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Judicial Watch may serve interrogatories on Secretary Clinton by no later than October 14, 2016 … Secretary Clinton’s responses are due by no later than thirty days thereafter … Judicial Watch may depose Mr. Bentel by no later than October 31, 2016.
In his opinion Judge Sullivan writes:
The Court is persuaded that Secretary Clinton’s testimony is necessary to enable her to explain on the record the purpose for the creation and operation of the clintonemail.com system for State Department business.
On July 8, Judicial Watch submitted a request for permission to depose Clinton; the Director of Office of Correspondence and Records of the Executive Secretariat (“S/ES-CRM”) Clarence Finney; and Bentel. The request arises in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit before Judge Sullivan that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former Deputy Chief of Staff to Clinton. The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about the clintonemail.com system (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).
Though we still think an in-person deposition is appropriate, we are pleased by the Court’s authorizing us to learn more about Clinton’s email practices from Mrs. Clinton – under oath. We will move quickly to get answers. If things stay on track, we should have answers from Mrs. Clinton, under oath, by the end of next month. This decision – and the astonishing story below – is a reminder that Hillary Clinton is not above the law and that at least one federal court thinks she hasn’t answered all the outstanding questions about her emails.
JW Forces Release of “Deleted” Clinton Emails –
Hidden Emails Include Benghazi Material
Our work on the Clinton emails issue yields incredible result after incredible result. Just yesterday, a federal court ordered the State Department to review newly found Clinton emails and turn over responsive records by September 13. And, in two other Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits, the State Department is scheduled to release additional emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s non-state.gov email system beginning September 30. As if this wasn’t enough, in a court filing this week, the State Department admitted it had found Benghazi-related documents among the 14,900 Clinton emails and attachments uncovered by the FBI that Mrs. Clinton deleted and withheld from the State Department.
The first batch of new emails comes in response to a court order issued yesterday in a November 13, 2015, Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit filed against the Department of State seeking all communications between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama White House from the day of the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi and throughout the following week. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Dr. Larry Kawa of Boca Raton, Florida, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, West Palm Beach Division (Larry Kawa v. U.S. Department of State (No. 9:15-cv-81560)). Yesterday’s order requiring the production of the emails from the 14,900 new Clinton emails, as well as any other communications or emails from the other materials recently delivered to the State Department by the FBI, was issued by U.S. District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas. The court ruled:
The State Department shall search the material, determine whether any responsive records exist, and complete its first production of non-exempt records, to the extent any exist, by September 13, 2016.
In a separate case, JW has been seeking Clinton’s communications about the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, during which U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith were killed. A second assault targeted a nearby compound, killing two government contractors Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00692)).
After admitting in an August 23 court filing that it found documents that “satisfied the [Benghazi related] search terms” of the new Clinton emails, the State Department proposed a rolling production schedule, “under which State would make its first production of any non-exempt responsive records subject to FOIA onSeptember 30, 2016, and complete production no later than October 31, 2016.” Judicial Watch then asked the court that State make known the volume of documents remaining to be reviewed before it accepts whether the production schedule is reasonable. And then – also yesterday – U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta informed the attorneys the Court wants to schedule a hearing on this issue for Tuesday, August 30!
There’s more. We are also scheduled to receive documents from the State Department in a case arising out of FOIA lawsuit before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former Deputy Chief of Staff to Clinton. The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about the clintonemail.com system ( Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)). Judge Sullivan ordered the State Department to release all remaining documents responsive to our FOIA request by no later than September 30, 2016.
The 14,900 new Clinton emails were uncovered as a result of separate Judicial Watch litigation seeking all of Mrs. Clinton’s work-related emails. At a status hearing this week, U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg ordered the State Department to report to the Court the volume of documents reviewed and be prepared to commit to a production schedule at a further status hearing on September 23, 2016. The revelation of the existence of all these additional emailsfurther rocked the nation.
It is difficult to overstate how scandalous it is that Hillary Clinton tried to delete and hide Benghazi emails and documents. No wonder federal courts in Florida and DC are ordering the State Department to stop stalling and begin releasing the 14,900 new Clinton emails.
What a week this was! Those of you of who support our work financially, thank you. You make this success possible. Those of who don’t yet support our work have even more ample reason to join our cause here!
Court Victory for Election Integrity
We’ve busy with Clinton emails, but not so busy as to ignore the core issue of protecting the integrity of elections from those on the Left who want to be able steal elections. This week the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld an Ohio law that shortens the state’s absentee voting period from 35 to 29 days (Ohio Democratic Party v. Husted (No. 16-3561)). We had joined with the Allied Educational Fund (AEF) in filing an amici brief in the case. It was good to be part of this victory for clean elections.
It sure is rewarding that the appeals court took the position we advocated. Early voting is a bad public policy that unduly burdens the taxpayers, increases the likelihood of fraud, and confuses voters. It was absurd and dishonest to suggest that racism was behind the sensible reform of cutting back early voting from an excessive 35 days before Election Day. The Left’s attack on election integrity, in partnership with the Obama Justice Department, doesn’t bode well for a clean November election.
This is why great decisions like the Sixth Circuit’s are important. In its opinion the court wrote sensibly:
[P]laintiffs complain that allowance of 29 days of early voting does not suffice under federal law. They insist that Ohio’s prior accommodation—35 days of early voting, which also created a six-day “Golden Week” opportunity for same-day registration and voting—established a federal floor that Ohio may add to but never subtract from. This is an astonishing proposition. Nearly a third of the states offer no early voting. …The issue is not whether some voter somewhere would benefit from six additional days of early voting or from the opportunity to register and vote at the same time. Rather, the issue is whether the challenged law results in a cognizable injury under the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act. We conclude that it does not.
In our amici curiae brief with the Court of Appeals we argued that if it failed to reverse the lower court ruling, it “risks issuing a judgment that is not only wrong, but perverse, in that it might lead to lower voter turnout in direct contravention of one of the basic purposes of the Voting Rights Act.”
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, which ruled that the six-day reduction would disproportionately burden African Americans:
[A]lthough the Court cannot predict how many African Americans will turn out in future elections, it is reasonable to conclude from this evidence that their right to vote will be modestly burdened by S.B. 238’s reduction in the EIP [early in-person] voting period and elimination of SDR [same day registration].
Countering the district court’s position, the Judicial Watch/AEF brief cited a June 2016 report from the General Accounting Office (GAO) about the “depressant effect” of early voting:
We reviewed 20 studies from 12 publications, and these studies had varied findings. Seven studies found no statistically significant effect, another 8 studies found that the policy decreased turnout, and 5 studies reported mixed evidence. Reported effects from these studies ranged from a 3.8 percentage point decrease in turnout to a 3.1 percentage point increase. [Emphasis added]
Judicial Watch and AEF concluded in our amici:
It is, then, a serious, open question as to whether the elimination of early voting will lead to lower voter turnout. Because the plaintiffs have failed to present persuasive evidence establishing the likely effect of early voting on voter turnout, they have not met their burden of establishing their claims by a preponderance of the evidence.
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, citing statistical evidence in support of the Judicial Watch/AEF argument:
[W]hile the challenged regulation may slightly diminish the convenience of registration and voting, it applies even-handedly to all voters… In fact, when compared to other members of the electorate, the statistical evidence in the record clearly establishes that Ohio’s political processes are equally open to African Americans. In 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014, African Americans registered at higher percentages than whites, and both groups’ registration numbers are statistically indistinguishable in every federal election since 2006… The statistical evidence thus runs directly contrary to the district court’s speculative conclusion that the current S.B. 238 would have a disparate adverse impact on African Americans’ participation.
We have often partnered with AEF, which is a charitable and educational foundation, to fight government and judicial corruption and to promote a return to ethics and morality in the nation’s public life. This partnership has paid off again. And we may have more honest elections as a result.
JW’s New Book Clean House Coming Next Week
Next Tuesday, August 30 is a big day for all of us at Judicial Watch. Our new book, Clean House – Exposing Our Government’s Secrets and Lies, will be released to the nation. You can pre-order the book here. Clean House takes you through incriminating documents from the attack in Benghazi, Hillary Clinton’s secret emails, the IRS scandal, and the Obamacare swindle.
Americans are rightly worried they are losing their country. How did five Congressional committees miss the smoking gun on Benghazi? How did Hillary Clinton keep a secret email server quiet for years? Does the IRS audit you because of your politics? Did the first American target of Obama’s drone program work for the US government? How did Congress commit fraud to get Obamacare taxpayer subsidies?
Peter F. Schweizer, author of the groundbreaking and best-selling Clinton Cash, generously notes “If you care about the future of our country and want to make a difference, read Clean House. It’s time to put both Democrats and Republicans on notice.” And Fox News Channel Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew P. Napolitano kindly calls me “living proof that we can only remain free when we know what the government is doing. Clean House is the story of his historic fight for government transparency.”
Again, Clean House goes on sale next week. Help us make it a best-seller and show the Establishment that you agree with Judicial Watch that no one is above the law!
August 26, 2016
Tom Fitton – President
425 3rd St, SW Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20024